Posted by Marcia Dick July 19, 2013 05:17 PM
Ken WoodrowNewburyport teen Jared Bedard was able to raise over $7,000 to help fight a rare but often fatal type of tumor and earn a chance to meet Justin Bieber before the Biebs performs Saturday night at TD Garden.
After Avalanna Routh, 6, of Merrimac, who developed a relation with Bieber, died last year of atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors, the pop star promised to meet the person who raised the most amount of money to help fight AT/RT.
Bedard, 16, who has Down syndrome, raised the funds within a month after starting in late May with the help of his mother, Karen. “I thought it would be good for Jared,” she said.
Jared, a sophomore at Newburyport High School, played guitar, sang, and danced at the Orange Leaf restaurant in Newburyport, the Port Tavern, and Not Your Average Joe’s to help raise money. He collected $912 in four hours at the Orange Leaf.
“His mother Karen had gotten in touch with me,” Port Tavern owner Abbie Pierce said. “She organized a silent auction and drew the names here. We set up a tip jar and people donated in it. It was a fun night and it was simple. It gave a reason for everybody to come out and donate.”
Not Your Average Joe’s is known for hosting “Not Your Average Cause” events where the restaurant partners with the Newburyport community and gives 15 percent of its sales to an organization that is making an effort to help raise money.
It was the busiest “Not Your Average Cause” night we’ve ever hosted,” said owner Ken Woodrow. “It was a great night, it brought a lot of energy into our restaurant.”
On top of meeting one of his favorite artists, Jared also will experience what his mother calls “the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.” Karen plans on using a stipend given to her by Bieber’s representatives on a limo for Saturday’s ride to Boston.
Maureen Gallagher, executive director of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, referred to Bedard’s efforts as amazing. “This exemplifies what people with Down syndrome are capable of achieving,” she said. “I hope he has a phenomenal time at the concert. I hope Justin [Bieber] realizes how hard he worked to get the funds.”
Juan E. Cajigas Jimenez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.